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Man City 1-0 Chelsea: Pep Guardiola strikes out on schedule after FA Cup semi-final victory

Sport

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says it is “unacceptable” that his side had to play an FA Cup semi-final so soon after the Champions League quarter-final.

City beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach a second successive final, but Guardiola criticized their fixture list after the penalty shootout against Real Madrid.

Guardiola said Coventry and Manchester United – who play at Wembley on Sunday – should have played on Saturday.

“I don’t understand how we survived,” the city boss added.

City lost on penalties to Real Madrid on Wednesday after the teams leveled 4-4 after extra time.

Guardiola’s argument is that the other FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Coventry, who are not in European competition, should have been moved to Saturday to give his players an extra day to recover.

“It is unacceptable to let us play today,” he told BBC Sport. “It’s impossible, for the health of the players. It is not normal.

“One hundred and twenty minutes, the emotions of Madrid, the way we lose, honestly. I know this country is special (with the FA Cup), but it is for the health of the players.”

Guardiola was animated after a full-time match on Saturday, hugging his players on the pitch and waving his arms in the air at City supporters.

Later, during his press conference, Guardiola continued his criticism, describing the domestic and international calendar as “unsustainable”.

City’s next match is on Thursday when they play Brighton in the Premier League (8pm BST).

“I just want to protect my players. It’s common sense. I’m not asking for anything special or a privilege,” Guardiola said.

BBC

FA

April 21, 2024

Keywords: Pep Guardiola

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